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Tri-Circle-D

TWO Sneak Peeks at Pandora The World of Avatar

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14 minutes ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

Uh-oh.

The previews went pretty smoothly on Wednesday.

That's the longest line I've heard of for one of the previews.  I wonder if it's because they are not kicking out the previous guests?

Did you get to ride a banshee?

TCD

Amazingly, the line started to move with only a couple of stops.

After the MB scan we were handed paper FP for Flight.  They were for 5:15 to 5:30. Interesting, since we weren't supposed to be in there until 6:00!

After a quick trip to the restrooms, we headed over to flight and were too early.  So we explored for 5 minutes then got in line. Right at the entrance there was a CM holding pictures of what the seat looked like with someone on it taken from the back.  it looked like there might have been more pictures if you needed to check into it further.

One thing they did was plan for huge crowds.  That is quite a hike up the mountainside, and it was HOT!  Even with the fans running at the corners there was no airflow.  We moved steadily up, but can you imagine what it's going to be like at noon time mid July with wall to wall sweaty, stinky people crammed together on that mountainside?  My wife was saying they had better have some EMTs nearby for people having heat stroke and passing out!  Even the first part of inside the mountain didn't have A/C.

It was a long hike inside of the mountain also, and we were able to bypass all the queue lines for the most part.

While we were waiting the CMs were talking to some people in front of us about the ride.  We noticed one of them that had ridden it was a very large in girth kid, and he said he had no problems fitting on it.

We got sent to the lower level.  The video while you're waiting is kind of cheesy, but I can understand why they have it.  My youngest granddaughter got herself all worked up that it was going to be scary and started to have a meltdown. She has been on all of the  different parks rides including Everest and Space Mountain but this was just freaking her out.

We finally got in dropped off our bags and got settled into our seats.

I fit on it without any issues.  I'm 6 foot about 230 with a 40 inch waist.  The way you sit and get locked in is a lot like the Legoland Mia's Riding Adventure where you get locked onto a horse.

So the ride started, and it was amazing.  And who was laughing and screaming the loudest, my granddaughter who was having the meltdown!

If you get motion sick, you may want to think about riding.  It's not a violent ride, but you do move around quite a bit, then coupled with the movement of the movie, it give you quite a thrill.

My wife didn't like it, she kept her eyes closed for the most of it.  But she doesn't like Soarin that much either.

Again, quite a long hike down the mountainside, and what's this, you get dumped into the gift shop!

They were selling the $45 banshees like they were penny candy!  And there is no passholder discount on them

The passholder mercahdise was pricey also.  $20 for a lanyard, and $33 for a tee shirt.  I missed the passholder pins the first time I looked.  The were in a tall wicker jug looking thing and you had to reach in to get them.  They werent too pricey.  I got 4 pins and 3 buttons for $45 after our 20% discount.

We did the river ride, it was just OK.

 

We went an ate.  Food was decent, the cheeseburger pods were different.  It wasn't that crowded, but we still waited forever at the counter to get our food.  Of course I got suckered into buying 2 of the $12 fancy glasses complete with a playable flute attached!  NOTE if you don't want to be driven crazy the rest of the day, either don't let the kids see the cup, or wait until you are leaving the park to purchase one.

I went over to the Pongu Pongu Lounge and got the non alcoholic drink that was layered and had the boboa balls in it.  It was interesting, way too sweet for 1 person to drink it all.  We shared it among 5 people.

The area itself is visually stunning, but it's also a big letdown.  There is noting to do.  My granddaughters were hoeing for some sort of playground.  That would've kept them occupied, but then we would be hanging out too long anf not spending $$.

We stopped back at Flight because there was no one around, and the standby time said 15 minutes.  The CMs told us there is no standby, and we couldnt go back in without a FP.

So we left.  At the entrance a CM was putting some stuff into a case.  it looked like FP tickets.  So I asked him if there were any more available.  He came over and gave us 4 (wife wasn't going back on) that started in 2 minutes at 7:30.

back we went, showed the passes to the two that wouldn't let us in 5 minutes before, and started the walk back up the mountain.  We were the only ones going up, and we didn't see anyone else until we got to the loading area.  it was kind of eerie walking up and thru the mountain without anyone else around.

 

When we got to the loading area we were put in a line with 6 other people, and withing a few minutes we we entered the first chamber.  But this time we went up to the third (and highest) level. This time we had a foreign substance in us and needed to be de-contaminated.  So this part of the show will change it seems.

Once seated, there must've been an issue on another level.  It took us a lot longer to have our 

What a difference in the experience being on the top level.  Everything seems more intense, and you get more water spray.

But, it's 3 flights worth of stairs to get back down to the main exit ramp.

 

Overall impression

The area is visually stunning.

The Flight ride is fantastic

The boat ride was decent, but I wouldn't want to wait in a long line for it.

Food was different and somewhat decent, but service wasn't that great.  One thing that was interesting,  the soda dispenser is not in a controlled environment, and we didn't see chips on the cups. We got 3 or 4 refills of the paper cups.  So in theory (though no Fiends would do this I'm sure), you could come back at anytime and refill your fancy Na'vi Flute cup.

 

They need to have more things to do.  You can look at imitation Alien plants just so long.

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Travisma said:

When we got to the loading area we were put in a line with 6 other people, and withing a few minutes we we entered the first chamber.  But this time we went up to the third (and highest) level. This time we had a foreign substance in us and needed to be de-contaminated.  So this part of the show will change it seems.

Interesting.

Both times we rode, we went first through the decontamination room, and had to go through the process of having our parasites removed, and then went in to the second pre-show room and watched a second video before boarding.

I wondered what the purpose of the first video was-it seemed like a waste of time. 

I guess that first room is set up to be used as an option, and can be skipped when necessary.

I wonder why?

1 hour ago, Travisma said:

 One thing that was interesting,  the soda dispenser is not in a controlled environment, and we didn't see chips on the cups. We got 3 or 4 refills of the paper cups.  So in theory (though no Fiends would do this I'm sure), you could come back at anytime and refill your fancy Na'vi Flute cup.

I noticed that too.

At least here, they don't have the cups sitting out for guests to use to steal their drinks like they do in Be Our Guest.

I like the quick serves without the chipped paper cups.  If I have to pay $3.50 for a soda, I want to refill it as many times as I feel like refilling it.

TCD

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Yes, refills should be free since you've already paid for the most expensive part, the cup itself.  I saw that these were just generic Coke cups.  I wonder if they are using these for the previews and ordering Pandorian cups with chips in them, but I didn't see a chip reader.

I forgot to mention, both times before we went thru the final flight door, we were told no pictures or videos.  One person had a Go-Pro and was told to stow it.

The first ride we didn't get the decom.  I think that room is used to kill time while the previous group is riding.

And they don't waste anytime bringing in the next group while you are attempting to leave.  If you have a couple items in the bins you'll get run over trying to get them out.

I was a little ticked that they wouldn't let us back on for a second ride without a FP.  Especially since the place was deserted.  My wife said they were just following rules. Well maybe they were, but common sense needs to prevail.  If a patron wants a second ride and they aren't cutting off or making someone else wait, let them go on!

What levels were you one for the rides?  

And they can only take 48 riders at a time?  3 levels of 16 each?  Or is there more than 1 theater?

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49 minutes ago, Travisma said:

Yes, refills should be free since you've already paid for the most expensive part, the cup itself.  I saw that these were just generic Coke cups.  I wonder if they are using these for the previews and ordering Pandorian cups with chips in them, but I didn't see a chip reader.

I forgot to mention, both times before we went thru the final flight door, we were told no pictures or videos.  One person had a Go-Pro and was told to stow it.

The first ride we didn't get the decom.  I think that room is used to kill time while the previous group is riding.

And they don't waste anytime bringing in the next group while you are attempting to leave.  If you have a couple items in the bins you'll get run over trying to get them out.

I was a little ticked that they wouldn't let us back on for a second ride without a FP.  Especially since the place was deserted.  My wife said they were just following rules. Well maybe they were, but common sense needs to prevail.  If a patron wants a second ride and they aren't cutting off or making someone else wait, let them go on!

What levels were you one for the rides?  

And they can only take 48 riders at a time?  3 levels of 16 each?  Or is there more than 1 theater?

Those coke cups, and the earth drink machines made us laugh because we can't have Mickey Mouse or Disney World bags on Pandora, but you better believe that Coca Cola products made the trip.

They must be experimenting with that decontamination room.  As I said, we had to go in it both times, and we were delayed and held in there both times.

I think it's interesting that the announcement about no photos of videos is only being made verbally by the CM's who load guests. It's not in either one of the pre-show videos, and there is no signage prohibiting photography in the ride room.  The CM who took us in for our second ride did not make that announcement.  I know, because my kids would have busted me if he did.  So, I thought it was OK to have my camera out, I had it in my hand when the CM checked my restraints. If that really is a rule, you would think Disney would make more of an effort to make sure that it is communicated to guests other than relying on a CM to remember.

They are obviously experimenting with crowd control, lines and loading/unloading procedures. Those CM's that wouldn't let you ride were just doing what they were told. You were lucky that you got to ride twice.  You're now caught up with me, and I had to go on two separate days to do that.

We were on the bottom level for our first ride, top level for our second ride. The view from both was fine, but I think the diving effects work better from the top, as you are higher up to start with.  Also, we were in one of  the outside sections of the theater both times, not in the center.  Fortunately, the projection does not have the distortion problems of the Soarin' film.

Yes, there is more than one theater.  There are 4!  All with 48 seats. They can run over 2000 guests per hour through there if the have all theaters up and running.

TCD

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16 minutes ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

Those coke cups, and the earth drink machines made us laugh because we can't have Mickey Mouse or Disney World bags on Pandora, but you better believe that Coca Cola products made the trip.

They must be experimenting with that decontamination room.  As I said, we had to go in it both times, and we were delayed and held in there both times.

I think it's interesting that the announcement about no photos of videos is only being made verbally by the CM's who load guests. It's not in either one of the pre-show videos, and there is no signage prohibiting photography in the ride room.  The CM who took us in for our second ride did not make that announcement.  I know, because my kids would have busted me if he did.  So, I thought it was OK to have my camera out, I had it in my hand when the CM checked my restraints. If that really is a rule, you would think Disney would make more of an effort to make sure that it is communicated to guests other than relying on a CM to remember.

They are obviously experimenting with crowd control, lines and loading/unloading procedures. Those CM's that wouldn't let you ride were just doing what they were told. You were lucky that you got to ride twice.  You're now caught up with me, and I had to go on two separate days to do that.

We were on the bottom level for our first ride, top level for our second ride. The view from both was fine, but I think the diving effects work better from the top, as you are higher up to start with.  Also, we were in one of  the outside sections of the theater both times, not in the center.  Fortunately, the projection does not have the distortion problems of the Soarin' film.

Yes, there is more than one theater.  There are 4!  All with 48 seats. They can run over 2000 guests per hour through there if the have all theaters up and running.

TCD

Interesting.

 

I guess they use the same lines but shuffle you thru different doors?

Now that you said that, I think we went in a B door the first ride and a D the second.

Yes I know they were following orders, but it was 7:25, there was no one around, and Pandora was closing at 8.

And I noticed not just in Pandora, but at other shops in AK, that the Mickey head card readers are gone and they have industry standard credit/debit card machines now.

But 2 times they would not read gift cards.  Once at Pongu Pongu and once at the big gift shop next to the exit bridge.

I think at Pongu it was operator error.  It wouldn't read at the machine or on the register, until a manager type went to the register and pushed a button, then the register took it.

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20 minutes ago, Travisma said:

Interesting.

I guess they use the same lines but shuffle you thru different doors?

The next time you go, note how many different halls there are after the FP+ line merges with the standby line.  On our first visit, we went down the first hall.  On the second, we passed a couple of empty hallways, and were directed into one that went up.   After waiting there, we went up a couple of flights of stairs.  After our pre-show videos, I noticed that the ride vehicles for our second ride were on my right when I walked into the ride vehicle room, where they had been on my left the first time we rode.  That was definitely two different theaters.  So, the pre-show rooms must be centrally located, and the theater entrances must all branch off from there.

We all noticed how much longer our walk was to get out of the building after our second ride than it was on our first.  And, when we did exit, I saw other exit corridors that dump out onto the path that takes you to the gift shop.  So, there are lots of entry and exit halls in that big building.

TCD

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5 hours ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

The next time you go, note how many different halls there are after the FP+ line merges with the standby line.  On our first visit, we went down the first hall.  On the second, we passed a couple of empty hallways, and were directed into one that went up.   After waiting there, we went up a couple of flights of stairs.  After our pre-show videos, I noticed that the ride vehicles for our second ride were on my right when I walked into the ride vehicle room, where they had been on my left the first time we rode.  That was definitely two different theaters.  So, the pre-show rooms must be centrally located, and the theater entrances must all branch off from there.

We all noticed how much longer our walk was to get out of the building after our second ride than it was on our first.  And, when we did exit, I saw other exit corridors that dump out onto the path that takes you to the gift shop.  So, there are lots of entry and exit halls in that big building.

TCD

Our first ride we were over in the right lanes and that took us to the first level.  The second ride we were in the left lane and we went thru a door and up stairs to level 3

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Just read an article on chip and co and that to ride the boat ride you must transfer from a wheel chair and no accommodations for FOP.  So basically Pandora is pointless for anyone who is handicapped. 

What the hell was Disney thinking? 

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On ‎5‎/‎20‎/‎2017 at 10:52 AM, Beckers said:

Just read an article on chip and co and that to ride the boat ride you must transfer from a wheel chair and no accommodations for FOP.  So basically Pandora is pointless for anyone who is handicapped. 

What the hell was Disney thinking? 

The no accommodations comment about FOP isn't accurate.  Wheelchair guests can transfer to the ride vehicles on FOP too.

On our first visit -the one where we had to wait in the hot hallway for 45 minutes- we were on the first level, and saw three groups of guests with a guests in wheelchairs enter a separate lane in the hallway.  They all got to ride before we did, BTW.  Which is a big pet peeve of mine, especially when I'm waiting in a hot, humid hallway.

The huge Disney butt kissers over at WDWNT say that the accommodations on the new Pandora rides are no different from any other Disney rides.  I don't agree with that, but there are accommodations for both rides: http://wdwnt.com/blog/2017/05/photos-special-wheelchair-accommodations-allow-guests-disabilities-ride-flight-passage-pandora-world-avatar/

It's clear to me that there are a lot of wheelchair bound guests that cannot possibly ride FOP.

TCD

 

 

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40 minutes ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

The no accommodations comment about FOP isn't accurate.  Wheelchair guests can transfer to the ride vehicles on FOP too.

On our first visit -the one where we had to wait in the hot hallway for 45 minutes- we were on the first level, and saw three groups of guests with a guests in wheelchairs enter a separate lane in the hallway.  They all got to ride before we did, BTW.  Which is a big pet peeve of mine, especially when I'm waiting in a hot, humid hallway.

The huge Disney butt kissers over at WDWNT say that the accommodations on the new Pandora rides are no different from any other Disney rides.  I don't agree with that, but there are accommodations for both rides: http://wdwnt.com/blog/2017/05/photos-special-wheelchair-accommodations-allow-guests-disabilities-ride-flight-passage-pandora-world-avatar/

It's clear to me that there are a lot of wheelchair bound guests that cannot possibly ride FOP.

TCD

 

 

On our second ride, it seemed like we were in the first pre-flight room longer than the first ride, and we definitely sat on our "Banshees" getting our minds linked a lot longer.  It sat at 65% forever.  I wonder if these delays were issues with getting people situated on the chairs safely/securely?

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13 minutes ago, Travisma said:

On our second ride, it seemed like we were in the first pre-flight room longer than the first ride, and we definitely sat on our "Banshees" getting our minds linked a lot longer.  It sat at 65% forever.  I wonder if these delays were issues with getting people situated on the chairs safely/securely?

That could be it- or there could have been some other issue.  Remember, in addition to the 16 riders on your level, there are two more levels of 16 riders. The ride doesn't start until all of those guests are secured into their seats.

On FOP, they seem to be directing all wheelchair guests to the first level.  It's possible that they can give them more time to board by bypassing one of the pre-show videos or just loading them for every other flight.

On NRJ, there is no separate boarding area for wheelchair guests.  Mr. Butt Kisser at WDWNT says that accommodations for NRJ are no different than for rides like Toy Story, but that's not true.  At Toy Story, they have a whole separate area where they can let wheelchair guests load and unload from the ride vehicles without holding up the regular pace of the ride.  At NRJ, everyone will be held up as wheelchair guests transfer in to and out of the boats.

TCD

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5 minutes ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

That could be it- or there could have been some other issue.  Remember, in addition to the 16 riders on your level, there are two more levels of 16 riders. The ride doesn't start until all of those guests are secured into their seats.

On FOP, they seem to be directing all wheelchair guests to the first level.  It's possible that they can give them more time to board by bypassing one of the pre-show videos or just loading them for every other flight.

On NRJ, there is no separate boarding area for wheelchair guests.  Mr. Butt Kisser at WDWNT says that accommodations for NRJ are no different than for rides like Toy Story, but that's not true.  At Toy Story, they have a whole separate area where they can let wheelchair guests load and unload from the ride vehicles without holding up the regular pace of the ride.  At NRJ, everyone will be held up as wheelchair guests transfer in to and out of the boats.

TCD

Yeah, getting 48 people situated on a newer type ride will take a bit of doing, especially if they don't understand English.

I saw a FB post where they said that sliding all the way forward made their backside stick out and the seat wouldn't latch.  The CM corrected it by telling them to scoot forward but sit straight and they had no issues then.  Everything locked into place.

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